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View Full Version : Starting a Tyranid army & wondering what is essential



Shadowfax
06-08-2006, 02:46
After 5+ years of devotion to the Unforgiven, I've decided to branch out and start a second army. Tyranids seem like the logical choice since I'd like to try something totally dissimilar to marines. It doesn't hurt that I love their fluff and models, either.

I figure that instead of starting small and adding to the army piece by piece, I'll put in a huge order with one of the various online retailers and grab everything I need in one fell swoop.

I was hoping that some Tyranid vets and other players could critique the list of units I plan on buying, and help me separate the wheat from the chaff of the Tyranids armylist.

As it stands, my order would look like this:

Tyranid Battleforce x2
Hive Tyrant x1
Tyrant Guard x2
Broodlord x1
Gaunt box x1
Lictor x1
Ravener x6
Zoanthrope x3

That, plus the handful of Genestealers I already own, should give me roughly 2000-2500 points to play with.

Am I buying too much/too little of anything?
Are the Tyrant Guards worth getting?
Too many Raveners?
Unnecessary HQ?
Too few troops?

I mainly play 1000-1500 points games, vs. Eldar, Tau, Marines and IG

Any comments/criticisms are welcome :chrome:

'Fex
06-08-2006, 04:08
If you're going big right away like that get another box of gaunts to make it 2 even squads of 16 for both hormies and termies.

YOU NEED MORE WARRIORS. THEY ROCK. not much more to say about that...

If you're doing lictors 3 is the way to go. I don't see just 1 of em doing enough.

Also You might want to look into a Winged Tyrant to keep up with all your fast assualt. I've had enourmous success with em, and they have a huge fear factor.

starlight
06-08-2006, 04:28
Some random thoughts:

Don't make your Carnifexes CC.:( They're too slow to be useful, so be warned - only for fans.

Warriors - I'm a fan.:D I like them for medium speed Synapse/Shooty.

I run a mass of Hormaguants (a hold over from 3rd Ed when they were more valuable for their points) and two units of Genestealers (one a Ret for the Broodlord) lead by Warriors and supported by four or five Shooty Carnifexes.

I'm planning to build a bunch of Gargoyles to fill out my FA slots which are currently filled with Spore Mines - just because I have a huge mess of them.

I'm a fan of the Theory Of Ork - Everything Counts In Large Amounts. Basically, don't mess around and take a little of everything. If you take Lictors - max out, Biovores - same thing. But that's just me.:D

Shadowfax
06-08-2006, 05:39
I've read all the theories on why Lictors suck, and I agree with most of them. Its probably my favourite looking Tyranid creature, though, so I'm picking up a single model for sentimental value. ;)

zealousheretic
06-08-2006, 07:29
Things that are essential:

Genestealers are incredibly nasty if you can keep them alive. Get them safely into combat and watch the carnage.

If your tyrant is going to walk, give it guard. They're very worth it.

Raveners are one of my favorite units in the new book, I've found them to be all kinds of useful and good.

Lots of gaunts never hurt. Their role in the army can vary depending on who you're fighting and whether you upgrade them, but most successful Tyranid lists feature a good amount of them. The type is really a matter of personal preference; some like them fast and run hormagants, some like them cheap and run spinegaunts, and some people (like me) use a mix of the two.

Realistically, you need at least one carnifex with a venom cannon for messing with tanks. Whatever else you choose to give it is up to you.

Tyranid Warriors. Not reliable as main synapse (no substitute for a Tyrant), but a good way to expand your synapse web, and with the right upgrades they're good assaulters or fire support for your broods. Just be judicious with upgrades.

Things that are powerful in the right list:

Zoanthropes. A trio with psychic scream and whatever other power you wish can be a real headache supporting an assault army, and can be downright brutal and mean in conjuction with a shooting-heavy or pinning weapon-heavy list. If you use a psychic choir, commit to it and take a full one.


Things that are better than the internet would lead you to believe (not essential, but can be made to work well):

Lictors. If you can get away from the expectation that they kill entire units by themselves or the like, they're good for tank hunting, and their feeder tendril ability is very good in my experience. Like anything, they just have to be used right, and with a realistic assessment of their abilities.

Assault carnifexes. I've had great success with mine, they're slow but they'll crush anything they get their claws on (and if you're using all those gaunts, them catching something to squash isn't hard at all).


Things that really do kind of suck:

Biovores. I can never justify spending the points given what they're actually capable of.


Things I have no experience fielding and so won't comment on:

Flying Tyrant. Lots of people swear by them, but I've never used one.

Broodlord. Model looks terrible to me, and I'm too lazy to convert one. I can see it being good, though.

Gargoyles. If they made these in plastic, I'd field them. Probably very good, just so expensive money-wise.

sic
06-08-2006, 11:29
Tyrant Guard is a must if you do not have a winged Tyrant, the Tyrant is a huge bullet magnet and without those extra wounds hes toast. Besides if the guard survive they are mean as cats **** in h-h.
1 Lictor can and does work. Go for it.
Raveners are great and IMO I think 6 is perfect. 3 works to a degree but they arent that tough and against massed fire they fold.
I think more Guants and more warriors are definately on the cards. You could proabably get away with 1 squad of 6 warriors but you will need more Guants imo they need to be fielded in squads of at least 12-16 and you usually want a similar or identical squad to back up the first one if it all goes pear shaped. Ive seen a squad of 16 disappear under a hail of shuriken fire but the second squad behind certainly sorted the Dire Avengers out.
Personally I think Biovores work well in certain situations. Against a guard army they are gold, they will mess up any unit they hit and can ruin his basilisks even if you cant get a bead on them.

Simsandwich
06-08-2006, 11:40
Swarm them, use Spinefist Gaunts at 5 Points each.
Use a shooty Carnifex or 2, Winged Hive Tyrant=Good.
Warriors are lovely to use, my cousins Nids are like 1000 Points stronG, and he fits loads of Gaunts into 500 Points.

Mr Evil
06-08-2006, 18:45
Get another Hive Tyrant instead of the Broodlord, as the BL is useless for anything other than synapse (and costs a good deal more than a HT).

Don't get more Warriors like 'Fex says, because they're actually horrifically bad. Stealers/Ravs are better at HtH and MCs are better at shooting. They're almost as bad as Biovores.

Perhaps another Carnifex to use as elite in 1500 point games, but your purchase list looks pretty solid.

Dr.Clock
06-08-2006, 18:55
I have never played with Tyranids, only against them. That said, the last 5-7 games I have played have given me great respect for the blighters!

Things to remember:

1: numberless gaunts are great. take at least two large gaunt squads every time. Try to make one of them numberless.

2: genestealers will eat ANYTHING they reach.

3: a Broodlord will only ever be taken down by shooting.

4: Warriors and heavy bolters do not mix

5: one carnifex is a challenge: two an impossibility (I mean the five-wound regenerating variety...)

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

onnotangu
06-08-2006, 20:14
Raveners are ok, but I prefer the gargolye( buy the older 2nd edtion ones) easier to assemble( 2nd edtion), alot of people have them and never use them considering all the missions you can use them on.
if you are going all out also consider the Mycetic spore sack( Forge world large sack) worth the $$ and the Points. but only if you are actually going to splurge and get them all at once.

Shadowfax
06-08-2006, 20:34
If I decide to use Tyrant Guard will be 2 be enough, or should I be maxing out and buying 3 every game?

Outlaw289
06-08-2006, 20:42
From my experience, tooled-up Warriors, 'stealers, and large hormogaunt swarms are your workhorses.

Also gives us Guard players plenty to shoot at :)

onnotangu
07-08-2006, 15:41
If I decide to use Tyrant Guard will be 2 be enough, or should I be maxing out and buying 3 every game?

2 is fine enough. I use the older ones though as they came with lash whips and just the thought of the lash whips usally stops people from charging them... well that and The Horror.

Morgrad
09-08-2006, 06:29
1-2 tyrant guard are plenty. 3 is typically very excessive.

Winged tyrants are awesome.

2 shooty carnifexes (VC/BS) are a must in any 'nid list.

I *love* gargoyles. My typical 1850 list has 36 of them.

lord_blackfang
09-08-2006, 12:26
I much prefer flying Tyrants, so I'd drop the Guard. Even if you don't intend to assault with the Tyrant, fast-moving Synapse is invaluable.

Gargoyles are by far the best FA choice. Either buy them or convert them from Gaunts (tip: do a google search on rocketgaunts)

You can save some cash by trading or buying the Nid sprues from the starter box. They look as good as the multi-parts and can be bought off n00bs or on ebay for a fraction of the cost.

Shadowfax
09-08-2006, 19:40
I put in the order today, going with the following selections:

Tyranid Battleforce x2
Hive Tyrant x1
Tyrant Guard x2
Gaunt box x2
Lictor x2
Ravener x6
Zoanthrope x2

My gaming group is pretty relaxed, so I can proxy a third Guard/Lictor/Thrope any time I may feel the need to field one. I like the concept and rules for the Broodlord, but the model is kind of wack, so I held off on it for now.

Gargoyles seem like a great unit, but 75 bucks worth of metal Raveners is enough Fast Attack expense for me. Plus the Gargies look kind of dumb, imo.

Gen_eV
10-08-2006, 02:04
You only have two Carnifexes.

What nonsense is this? You need at least four! :D
Actually, your list looks rather good for a 'basic' tyranid force, I just love the Godzilla army. (Kinda handy that I'm so tactically inept that I can't possibly be accused of being cheesy)

Be sure to build one Dakkafex (2 twin devourers) - they're not the greatest setup, but they're nice and cheap if you just Enhance their Senses, and they scare the crap out of lightly armoured troops. Eight strength six shots a turn, AP5, re-rolls to hit AND wound, very tasty. Took two in my last tourney and they did me proud.

Oh, and I recommend proxying a Flyrant at some point - they're good, but also the biggest fire magnet I've ever seen. May not work out to be the best choice depending upon your local playing conditions. (If you have loads of terrain he'll be a must-have, but he'll die in Turn one every game if you can't hide him)

cailus
10-08-2006, 04:27
Nothing is essential in any army. Just go for what sounds cool or looks cool.

Shadowfax
10-08-2006, 04:34
I've never seen the new Carnifex up close.

How big, area-wise, is the base of its gun arms where they meet the body? Would it be feasible to put pins into the arms so that a Carni could be given a different weapons loadout from game to game?

Morgrad
10-08-2006, 04:49
I've never seen the new Carnifex up close.

How big, area-wise, is the base of its gun arms where they meet the body? Would it be feasible to put pins into the arms so that a Carni could be given a different weapons loadout from game to game?

It is an awe-inspiring model, and it's *******' huge.

The arms are ball-socket attachments, so it's certainly feasable to pin it to make seperate weapon load-outs, but you're going to want to find a way to make them stick in-place, or they'll be all droopy.

There's nothing sadder than a monstrous creature with droopy weapons........

Gen_eV
10-08-2006, 05:01
You've never seen the Carnifex up close? You're in for a pleasant surprise then, it's a beauty of a kit. Absolutely gorgeous, gonna be shoehorning at least five into my next army, possibly six if I can live without lictors and their reserve re-rolls..

As far as size is concerned, a Carni's shoulder joints are roughly the size of a marine's waist, if not larger. Using magnets is a good way to go with the 'fex, with a couple of small pins to maintain orientation. otherwise they'll hold in steadily but droop down anyways.

Malphax
10-08-2006, 05:14
I am an enormous fan of Raveners. Absolutely everything about them is awesome. Well, deepstriking them sometimes leads to problems and they're a tad expensive, but still! Spectacular!

Shadowfax
10-08-2006, 07:56
You've never seen the Carnifex up close? You're in for a pleasant surprise then, it's a beauty of a kit. Absolutely gorgeous, gonna be shoehorning at least five into my next army, possibly six if I can live without lictors and their reserve re-rolls..

As far as size is concerned, a Carni's shoulder joints are roughly the size of a marine's waist, if not larger. Using magnets is a good way to go with the 'fex, with a couple of small pins to maintain orientation. otherwise they'll hold in steadily but droop down anyways.
Thanks for the advice

I always wanted to experiment with rare earth magnets on my Dreadnoughts, but then I backed into a few deals and ended up owning enough Dreads that weapon switches were unnecessary. I'll definitely look into doing it with my Carnis,though, since I'll probably find myself content owning two.

Warlord Kyle
07-09-2006, 23:55
You definetly bought enough...
Anything to keep the enemy off your tyrant is a good investment but only in games 1500 and up.
In my experience YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH RAVENERS!!!!
You don't nessisarly need the broodlord unless you are infiltrating with a retinue, thats very popular.
And u definitly have enough troops.
Carnifexs are fun but can only use one...
Gargoyle just fly and die.
Biovors only work againts gaurd.
This is all my opinion and this is up to you.

gLOBS
08-09-2006, 00:57
One thing you should do with your Tyranids is goto Ebay and buy $20 and get 200 small earth magnets. This will allow you to change up your Tyranid force between battles if you so choose so you do not have a stagnent army and can play a fresh play style at your choosing without buying another battle force. If you do this remember it takes 12-20 magnets per monstrous/mid-sized creature for 2-3 sets of arms. Also make sure you have a standard magnetic poles for arms and torsos so that different arms can fit on different creatures.